Please log in or register. Registered visitors get fewer ads.
The Chairman speaks
at 17:17 21 Sep 2020

Colemanballs - alive and Trotting!
at 22:01 20 Sep 2020

"If you take the goals out of the game, we completely dominated it."

Ian Evatt quote after the defeat at Colchester.

Must remember to use that one - not!

Up the U's
Trotters in Town on saturday
at 14:12 17 Sep 2020

My programme arrived in the post today. Good news.
My match preview to follow on this thread tonight hopefully.

Up the U's
Royals v Hatters
at 19:55 15 Sep 2020

No glory tie for Reading
Luton will play Man Utd
Bantams v Imps
at 19:54 15 Sep 2020

4-0 to Lincoln at HT

Shoes the difference when you play with strikers
Brighton and Hove Albion
at 20:23 14 Sep 2020

GOSBTS I see that Brighton are joining the club's who are beginning to dispense with the blue and white stripes on their home shirts.

Enjoy the game tonight.

Up the U's
Bantams would do well not to count their chickens against the resurgent U's
at 21:01 11 Sep 2020

After the disappointment of a narrow defeat to Exeter City in the play offs, Colchester United, now under the new management of Head Coach Steve Ball and Assistant Hayden Mullins, start their fifth successive season in League Two away to one of the favourites for promotion Bradford City at Valley Parade.

The Bantams are managed for the fourth time by Stuart McCall and include some well-known players Lee Novak, Billy Clarke, and everyone’s favourite pantomime villain Kurtis Guthrie. Normally a 14,000 attendance would have been willing them on, but COVID-19 has put paid to that. Even Cambridge United’s 2,000 supporters will not be present at the Abbey Stadium after the Government’s new restrictions on social gatherings.

All of this is bad news for Colchester United Exiles like me who will miss vital away games in the coming weeks. Still restricting the possibility of a second wave must take priority however disappointing for the spectators at various sporting events.

I will be considering a “prospects for the season” in the coming days but for now must content myself with a preview of this Bantams game only.

Pre-season injuries to Chuck Norris and Tom Lapslie have affected the team, but after the loss of six first teamers we have redressed the balance somewhat with new arrivals in the form of Shamall George, Martell Taylor-Crossdale and Tommy Smith. There is the further possibility of another striker from Pompey Reeco Hackett-Fairchild but competition from Hull City.

Now I am totally clear about the U’s starting XI in a 4,4,1,1 formation and squad numbers:

Dean Gerken (1)

Miquel Scarlett (17) Tom Eastman (18) Tommy Smith (5) Cohen Bramall (3)

Noah Chilvers (14) Harry Pell (8) Ben Stevenson (24) Kwame Poku (23)

Jevani Brown (10)

Martell Taylor-Crossdale (15)

Shamal George (29), Miles Welch-Hayes (2), Omar Sowunmi (6), Courtney Senior (7), Luke Gambin (26), Callum Harriott (11), Paris Cowan-Hall (12)

Thinking - the back four has had a reshuffle with Scarlett and Smith coming in. Miles Welch-Hayes would be another possible right back, but I think Scarlett just has the starting XI nod over him at present.

In midfield Noah Chilvers is a definite with new club captain Harry Pell and my favourite Ben Stevenson with Kwame Poku giving a youthful look.

Playing in the 10 position that he was originally bought to occupy is Jevani Brown (revitalised after three early goals) and then as the lone striker Martell Taylor-Crossdale who simply must start tomorrow.

The weather tomorrow will be 14 degrees Celsius and mostly sunny. The advantage of playing at Valley Parade early in the season means that the playing surface will not resemble a battlefield or beach as it does later in the season.

Now after some difficult pre-season games and two tough cup ties Bradford offers the opportunity for the U’s to test themselves against a potential promotion rival. After all the comings and goings, the prospect of league action is to be warmly welcomed. And I reckon we can prevail in a close encounter by 2-1 with Brown and Taylor-Crossdale on the scoresheet.

Enjoy the game whether watching on iPlayer or listening to the radio.

Up the U’s

Pompey Chimes could ring true for another Striker for the U's
at 22:10 10 Sep 2020

Reeco Hackett-Fairchild could be loaned out from Pompey for the season and Colchester and Hull City are both interested in signing him.

The 22 year old striker has made just one appearance for the South Coast outfit since a transfer from Bromley in early 2020.

Well I for one would be delighted with another striker to score those elusive Colchester goals and surely the Londoner would prefer the North Essex air to the North Sea frets of Hull.

Let us hope for the best.

I wondered why we went easy on them the other evening!!!!

Up the U's
[Post edited 10 Sep 22:11]
Royals v Super U's
at 15:23 5 Sep 2020

Very short and sweet today.

Reading away in the League Cup South Round 1



Scarlett Eastman Smith Bramall

Pell Stevenson Chilvers Brown Harriott Poku

Welch-Hayes Senior Sowunmi Marshall-Miranda George Hutchinson McLeod

Jackie Oatley at the game for Sky and Colchester playing the ball around very well.

0-0 after 22 mins

Up the U's
Here we go again!
at 15:40 6 Aug 2020

Brentford should be told to bee off but sadly money talks and we are likely to lose Cohen Bramall to the Championship club.

Personally I think that when he does leave us it should more properly be to a bigger club but our failure to achieve promotion is proving very very costly with an exodus to clubs higher in the football pyramid.

I reckon that he is definitely worth £750k and the club should place that price tag on the promising youngster.

A grim period since losing to Exeter. We blinked first and dispensed with quality players all of whom have been able to move on for free.

Incandescent you bet I am and continue to be.

A reduced wage bill might be the outcome but no money to swell the coffers or create a war chest.

The £1m Cup run profit has been used up to absorb the effects of Covid but whilst our rivals continue to splash the cash, we sit arms reversed waiting for something to turn up.

I am beyond angry.

Up the drastically reduced U's
Final League Two place decided today
at 15:29 2 Aug 2020

Harrogate v Notts county

The North Yorkshire side have started the better at Wembley and are deservedly in front by 2-0.

Personally I would like to see them prevail against the Nottingham side.

Up the U's
[Post edited 2 Aug 15:31]
Freddie Sears possible return to the U's
at 19:16 1 Aug 2020

Sears is 30 and it is 5 years since he left us for the sum of £100k.

But if the Poor man Road side secure the services of one of their striker targets could he make a dramatic return to the Jobserve Community Stadium.

Unlikely perhaps but we desperately need another striker soon.

Up the U's
Hendo signs for Salford
at 10:43 30 Jul 2020

Ian Henderson has left Rochdale for our League Two rivals

Up the goalkeeper reduced, striker less U's
Looking ahead to next Season!
at 12:44 30 Jun 2020

League Two next season, whenever that is due to start – currently mid to late September 2020 is going to have an eclectic mix of clubs, but arguably will be weaker than last season.

If we are to finally get out of this basement League, then Season 2020/21 could well be the time. I should hasten to add that the following lists are very much my own thoughts and with that in mind I have split the league into three segments.

First a look at the top seven promotion contenders:
Bradford City

Then the midtable teams:
Port Vale

Then the strugglers and Relegation contenders:
Plus, One other: perhaps our old friends Notts County

I reckon it is Morecambe and Macclesfield for the drop.

All League Two teams will have playing staff issues, financial woes and depending upon when the Supporters are allowed back into the stadia, increased ticket costs and Hospitality issues.

On the positive side conferences and stadium events will be slowly coming back into focus and a clamour for new and innovative ways of encouraging revenue must be explored. Season Ticket sales will be truncated and there is still the issue of refunds for last season to be determined.

Teams will have sponsorship issues and may well have to stick for a second season with existing Home, Away and Change kits.

It will be all about saving money and survival before any thought can be given to future growth.

Not all clubs have yet followed the Colchester lead and dispensed with 12 players, over half of whom were unfortunate losses for the club. Exeter will now lose potentially 8 players, but even the Cobblers, now well-heeled in League One will have to think about increases to ticket prices etc.

For Colchester there can be no extravagant £315K outlay for footballer with issues mainly off the pitch rather than on. Our £1M bounty from that excellent League Cup campaign might yet be our saviour in these uncertain times. We should not forget either about the net £900K from transfer dealings, prior to the start of last season. Balanced against that is the £200K cost of the play-off campaign which sadly ended in defeat.

I note that after completing his loan spell at Peterborough, Sammie Szmodics is not yet back in the Bristol City team despite the fact that they are performing badly. If the step up from League Two to the Championship was too much too soon, he seems eminently well suited to League One football. In a way he encapsulates what is wrong with the transfer system.

A small club, a selling club, perhaps less fashionable has a star asset who shines brightly, would be suitors with deep pockets come in and a bidding war results. But the transition is not always successful, and it is possible for a player’s career to stall badly. Then a loan to a lower league side and yes, he finds his level and plays superbly well scoring goals and assisting with others. Loan spell ends and he returns to his parent club a better player, but then languishes in the reserves. Sadly, he does not return to his boyhood club and knocks around in the Leagues but without fulfilling his real potential. Incredibly sad but unfortunately all too true.

For Colchester, what will our playing staff look like in 2020/21.

First, we have lost 12 players including Ryan Jackson, Luke Prosser, Frank Nouble and Brandon Comley. Could we I wonder manage to claw at least two of them back to the club. Just a thought! Theo Robinson released from Scummend also.

This leaves, with current squad numbers:

1 Dean Gerken
3 Cohen Bramall
4 Tom Lapslie
6 Omar Sowunmi
7 Courtney Senior
8 Harry Pell
9 Luke Norris
10 Jevani Brown
11 Paris Cowan-Hall
12 Miles Welch-Hayes
15 Callum Harriott (his Quad injury probably cost us promotion)
16 Diaz Wright
18 Tom Eastman
19 Ollie Kensdale
21 Ryan Clampin
24 Ben Stevenson
26 Luke Gambin
27 Noah Chilvers
29 Ethan Ross
37 Andre Hasanally
40 Michael Fernandes
49 Kwame Poku

Result, we are short of a Defender, an attacking midfield player and that old chestnut, a striker but most probably two.

Much to ponder over the Summer recess.

The U’s will survive, which is the main thing, but if we are to mount a successful promotion campaign next season, then finding those elusive four players is going to be the priority. It may be that loan signings are once again the solution.

Enjoy the Summer. Stay safe.

Up the U’s

[Post edited 30 Jun 23:11]
Cobblers to leather the Grecians
at 19:33 29 Jun 2020

I'm not bitter well actually I am.

Up the U's
Luke Garbutt released by the Toffees
at 19:57 26 Jun 2020

He should have been a potential England full back I do not understand what has gone on there.

Jack Colback released by Newcastle.

Up the U's
Super U's to be Wembley bound after impressive victory at St James' Park
at 09:25 21 Jun 2020

The equation is simple, avoid defeat at St James’ Park on Monday teatime and Colchester United will go to Wembley to contest the League Two Play Off Final on 29 June against either Cheltenham or Northampton.

OK so the game on Thursday against the Grecians was not a classic, but having watched the game in full for a second time the statistics suggest that the U’s deserved to win the game and Exeter were shown to have been too defensive minded and paid the penalty.

Colchester Exeter
Possession % 42 58
Shots 10 8
On Target 2 0
Corners 6 6
Fouls 14 13

The Colchester team was largely as expected but for Callum (Ainsley) Harriott’s omission, which we learned after the game was due to a tight quad (a legacy from that challenge at Salford I wonder).

JM went 4,2,3,1
Jackson Eastman Prosser Bramall
Pell Stevenson
Senior Poku Nouble


JM made four substitutions of the five that he could have made:

Robinson for Norris on 77 mins
Gambin for Senior on 78 mins
Lapslie for Stevenson on 78 mins
Cowan-Hall for Poku on 89 mins

Matt Taylor lined his Exeter team up 3,5,2:
Sweeney Martin (A) Moxey
Williams Taylor Atagana Law Sparkes
Bowman Martin


Taylor also made four substitutions:

Jay for Martin (enforced through injury) on 38 mins
Collins for Law on 67 mins
Dickenson for Sparkes on 77 mins
Parkes for Moxey on 78 mins

Now the pundits and several elements of the press have been sniffy about the game and Colchester but frankly I do not care. On balance we deserved to win the game. Individual brilliance from Cohen Bramall was overshadowed in the Times newspaper by some idiots who got involved in an altercation with a steward after the game whilst waiting for the team to emerge from the stadium.

Bramall’s free kicks were both of the highest order the first forcing a save from Ward the second a superb piece of skill and accuracy after a cheap free kick given away by Brennan Dickenson.

Frankly I wouldn’t change the U’s starting line up unless Harriott is fit and then he would replace Senior and I would give a more prominent role to Theo Robinson (13 minutes game time is no way long enough and he should have come on with 30 minutes to play).

JM spoke with considerable authority after the game – “we’ve won nothing yet, but it gives us an advantage “ yes spot on, now we must go to Exeter with a more positive mindset than the Grecians showed at the JobServe. We must avoid defeat, but if I were JM I would be angling for an early goal to effectively kill the tie.

The Grecians will have just over 1000 cardboard cut outs, whilst Cilla the Greyhound was our star cut out on Thursday. However, there is no home advantage with an empty stadium, and we must remember that in our planning.

Exeter eventually stayed overnight to ensure they were fresh from the 250-mile journey, we must do the same and then stay positive on Monday early evening.

The weather in Devon on Monday will be sunny and 18 degrees Celsius with light winds. Perfect for the game.

Ok so what about the Colchester performances on Thursday:

Gerken – little to do, no on target shot to save.

Jackson – active down the right side and performed competently
Eastman – I am beginning to think he is a frustrated striker, often finds himself in the danger area after a Colchester attack
Prosser – Captain sensible and strong leading the team credentials
Bramall – deserved MOTM performance brilliant free kick(s)

Poku – seemed to be stifled on the right-hand side
Pell – quiet game I want to see more leadership and forward lung busting runs
Stevenson – capable of delivering a rocket and one on Monday evening would be timely
Senior – despite what the faithful sing has an annoying habit of giving the ball away when well placed after doing the hard yards

Nouble – Big Frank worked his way into good positions but let down by poor finishing
Norris – always plays best when given copious amounts of red meat immediately before the game

Robinson must be given more time to shine at least 30 minutes
Gambin – very lively when he came on, Sweeney felt the full forced of his left foot shot in the box!
Lapslie – Tigerish, new hair style and looked to have put on a few pounds
Cowan-Hall – great to see him back but impossible to shine when you have only five minutes at the end of the game

Callum Harriot – must play instead of Senior if deemed match fit.

Jevani (Panenka) Brown the forgotten man – will he be shipped out at the end of the season. Does he have commitment issues, what a waste of talent. Come on sort it out!

Exeter will not be as defensive; they must attack more and that will leave gaps on the counter. JM must look for an early goal and not go 11 behind the ball, which is always a mistake.

Treat the game as though it is still 0-0 and approach it with fortitude and professionalism. We have the precious lead given to us by Bramall, but instead of defending, take the game to the Grecians and we will prevail.

2-0 to the Super U’s on the evening. The defence deserves another shut out.

Wembley here we come.

Safe journey to the travelling cut outs!

Up the U’s

[Post edited 21 Jun 11:30]
Grecians to have hair-raising time at the JobServe against the Super U's
at 10:43 15 Jun 2020

League Season 2019/20 will live long in the annals of Colchester United. It has been a memorable season on several counts; the inspirational League Cup displays, the impressive performances, cementing a position in the top seven, John McGreal notching up 200 games in charge of the U’s and a season curtailed by the most virulent virus (COVID-19) arguably since Spanish flu over 100 years ago.

Now everything pales into insignificance when compared to the tragic deaths that have arisen because of this pandemic , but football is gradually making a return. Lockdown measures are easing albeit with caution. This week witnesses the return of the Premier League and soon will come the Championship. But it is League One and League Two where the EFL finally managed to get their act together and agreed the most sensible solution. Relegation and Promotion to apply and more importantly the Play Offs to be contested by the four teams who missed out on the automatic promotion places.

That means that the two Semi-Finals will be Cheltenham against Northampton and Colchester will play Exeter over two legs for the right to contest a final at Wembley and all played behind closed doors, but with the opportunity for supporters to be present in cardboard cut outs only.

More than 100 cut outs will wear the famous blue or blue/white stripes in the East Stand on this Thursday evening at the JobServe Community Stadium for a tea time 1715hrs kick off and then the journey to Exeter City will be made ahead of the second leg on Monday 22 June again at 1715hrs.

The winning team will then play at Wembley on Monday 29 June with a 1930hrs kick off.

So much for the pre-amble. Colchester will play their most important game on Thursday evening since ….. well Saturday 7 March at Brunton Park Carlisle when a splendid Away performance saw Colchester triumph 3-0 and secure this vital Play Off place. I was amongst the 146 faithful that afternoon and witnessed a performance deserving of the play offs and probably promotion as well.

It was JM 200th game in charge of the U’s and they set out to rectify many of the issues that had affected their disappointing result against Cheltenham the week before. Now much was made about that game against the Robins. My own view is that we had an off day and they couldn’t have played a great deal better having soaked up pressure and then to hit us on the counter attack. Indeed, I do not see Cheltenham overcoming Northampton in the other Semi-Final. Ultimately though it is largely irrelevant because our fate is very much in our own hands whoever we play.

Make no mistake Exeter City will be a difficult and challenging game. They have hovered around the automatic promotion places all season and will be bitterly disappointed to fall at the final hurdle. They will not want to lose out on a second chance.

This season it has been impossible to separate the teams with a 2-2 draw at home and a 0-0 draw at St James’s Park . However, in recent years our form has not been great against the Grecians. I have been to all the most recent games at Exeter to witness defeats 3-0 (twice) and a 1-0 narrow defeat. All disappointing games and results.

Whilst the last time that we defeated them at Home was 10 December 2017 when we prevailed by 3-1.

Forget about those games though, they are consigned to history and we look only forward to the vital games on Thursday and Monday. If the return of the Bundesliga has taught us anything it is that Home advantage has largely been swallowed up by the lack of atmosphere and support inside the ground.

Yesterday however I witnessed a new phenomenon, crowd noise inside the stadium played over the tannoy. Not only goal celebrations, but also partisan home support when an opposition player committed a foul or when they had a good deal of possession. Bizarre perhaps but it did create the illusion of a crowd. Of course, we will have the cardboard cut outs willing us to victory.

Not having played competitively since 7 March should have allowed any injuries to have recovered and in our case that was largely Paris Cowan-Hall , who, since his heroics against Tottenham Hotspur when he kept Son as quiet as a Church mouse he has been missing with a long term ankle injury.

The other good news is that despite the decision not to renew the contracts of 12 players including Ryan Jackson, Luke Prosser, Frank Nouble and Brandon Comley playing the games to a conclusion in June means that we will have their services for the Play Offs. The one exception is Brandon Comley who has departed the club.

Interestingly the team that played against Carlisle is the one that could line up on Thursday evening. It is only the subs bench where changes would need to be made.

Jackson Eastman Prosser Bramall
Harriott Pell Stevenson Poku
Norris Nouble

Welch-Hayes Comley Clampin Ross Robinson Gambin and Senior

Jevani Brown has returned to the club from FGR and if Paris Cowan-Hall is fit then both could be in contention for a place on the bench.

Providing all are fit I would play the XI who started at Brunton Park and consider the subs as follows:

Ross Clampin Senior Gambin Robinson Cowan-Hall Sowunmi

Brown could be considered, but I do not think he will play.

Therefore, Thursday night should see the following Colchester line up 4,4,2:


Jackson Eastman Prosser Bramall

Harriott Pell Stevenson Poku

Norris Nouble

Ross Clampin Senior Gambin Robinson Cowan-Hall Sowunmi

Whilst we “warmed up” with a 4-0 defeat at the New Den, Matt Taylor the Exeter City boss resisted the temptation to play a friendly prior to the semi-final. He did not think it was worth the risk.

Exeter City are likely to line up like this in a 3,5,2 formation:

Sweeney A Martin Parkes
Williams Taylor Collins Law Sparkes
Bowman Ajose

I believe not to play a friendly was a mistake by the Grecians, regardless of the result against Millwall our players have at least played a game against opposition who potentially could be in the Championship play offs. That experience will be important at an energy sapping JobServe stadium on Thursday.

The weather on Thursday at Colchester will be 18 degrees Celsius with light wind and light rain showers. The pitch should be like a billiard table.

Hit the ground running, take the game to the Grecians, and think only of the prize at Wembley that awaits.

Score prediction, a handsome 3-1 first leg scoreline to the Super U’s.

Enjoy the game, it is live on Sky. My programme is enroute and my cardboard cut-out should be sitting in the East Stand.

What more could one ask for? Perhaps the post horn gallop to run out to!!!!

Thinking ahead (and not counting my chickens) how do I get to watch at Wembley apart from on Sky. I have been fortunate to have been present at every Wembley game the U’s have played in, surely I cant miss out on this one!!!

Up the Super U’s

The Chairman speaks!
at 19:47 11 Jun 2020

Probably the most uplifting and positive contribution he has ever delivered.


The excellent news doesn't stop there because three of the Colchester four will be able to play in the three match series plus Theo Robinson can also "finish the job".

The only negative is that Brandon Comley will not be rejoining the club.

It is of course to be hoped that promotion, once secured, will allow us to offer fresh contracts to Luke Prosser, Big Frank and Ryan Jackson.

Exciting times.

Bring it on

Up the U's
Pre Play Off friendly?
at 23:23 9 Jun 2020

Given we last played on 8 March and our play off semi final first leg is on 18 June a friendly match behind closed doors this Saturday would be helpful.

What about the Hammers?

Up the U's
[Post edited 10 Jun 7:50]
Please log in to use all the site's facilities


Site Scores

Forum Votes: 11
Comment Votes: 0
Prediction League: 0
About Us Contact Us Terms & Conditions Privacy Cookies Advertising
© FansNetwork 2020